FACE OF STRONG HAIR. Sam Pinto walks out on stage during the finale of 'Cream Silk Hair Sonata.' All photos by Jory Rivera
MANILA, Philippines - Hair care brand Cream Silk made history last October 17 at the NBC Tent when they unveiled the first ever Hair Sonata — a 3-act musical performance by the 42-piece ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Gerard Salonga. It told the story of a struggling violinist who overcame all odds and found strength from within, succeeding in the end.
MAESTRO. Gerard Salonga conducts the orchestra whose string ensemble used violin bows made of human hair
Cream Silk-treated human hair replaced violin bows usually made with horse hair. The string ensemble of 12 women all used this violin bow.
BEAUTY AND GRACE. Members of Ballet Philippines who performed to the music
The night was made even more magical with performances from Ballet Philippines choreographed by Alden Lugnasan. Endorser Sam Pinto appeared throughout the performance through a film by Gus Cruz projected onto the concave white backdrop. She walked out on stage as the performance drew to a close.
BEAUTY QUEENS. Miss Supranational 2013 Mutya Datul, Miss Tourism-Philippines Joanna Cindy Miranda, Miss Universe-Philippines Ariella Arida, Miss International-Philippines Bea Rose Santiago and Bb Pilipinas first runner up Pia Wurtzbach
“It’s a celebration of beauty and strength expressed through live music, film and dance," said Carlos Corrales, Cream Silk senior assistant brand manager, to Rappler. "It's a mixed media spectacle headlined by the world’s first ever hair symphony orchestra under the baton of Maestro Gerard Salonga."
The event centered around the Cream Silk variant calledCream Silk Hair Fall Defense, said to give women "up to 10 times stronger hair and [protection] against hair fall."
“We want to demonstrate just how good, beautiful and strong your hair can be, and we felt that the violin bow is a good example," continued Corrales. "It is a very poetic and lyrical example of how we can demonstrate the strong hair that you can get.”
Robby Carmona of Saga Events served as event director. “It’s my honor to be able to create an event that's a first. Of course, it was a challenge," he told Rappler after a huddle with his team, pre-show.
"We put together the best team [behind it]. We sat down, brainstormed and came up with this beautiful collaboration. We want to pay tribute to the music."
Model and TV personality Sarah Meier attended the event with her young daughter.“When I heard that Cream Silk was doing something with the orchestra, I was like, ‘Tell me they are using human hair as bows!' I didn’t think it was ever possible," she said excitedly.
"The way that brands are really becoming dynamic at communicating their product — it’s not so literal anymore. I love how creative everyone is being. This is a refreshing change," said the model who also admitted to being a huge fan of Gerard Salonga.
"He’s easily one of the biggest musical geniuses, I think, of our generation," Meier added. "I co-judged Awit Awards with him. Being around him is inspiring.”
Model Kelly Misa described the event as "different."
“The performance was just extraordinary. It was far from what I expected," she said. "I loved it when the orchestra was playing and there was video that played along with it. That was really good.”
Model and TV personality Phoemela Baranda admitted to being a skeptic at first. “At first I was like, what does [Hair Sonata] mean? Does it mean they are playing and [while their] hair is bouncing?
"Now I get it because they used real hair in the violin bows! That made it really different. I really enjoyed the orchestra. Gerard Salonga is really great.”
Former Miss World Philippines and model Mafae Yunon-Belasco, an opera fan, raved to Rappler, post-performance. “It was amazing. I love live orchestra and ballet dancing. That was perfect for me tonight.”
Belasco, whose daughter is currently studying how to play the violin, had an idea about the effect of having human hair for the bow. "I’m not an expert, but I know from the teacher it makes the music more profound, nicer.”
Since "Hair Sonata" was a beauty event, we asked the former beauty queen [she placed in the Top 5 in Miss World 2003] what beauty meant for her.
“They say [one should be] beautiful inside and out. For me, it’s about being yourself, being true. It makes you beautiful regardless of how you look like.”
Supermodel and actress Marina Benipayo — another former Miss World representative  — also talked to us about strength and beauty.
“What’s beautiful about a woman’s strength is that it makes her look like she is full of confidence, that she is on top of the world, that she is the master of her own [fate]," she told Rappler while holding the hand of beau, actor Ricardo Cepeda.
"A woman who has strength is full of character, and a woman who has strength is more attractive to everyone. A woman of strength is happier with herself.”
Here are Rappler's exclusive event photos:
Victoria [left] with sisters Rosario and Tina
Victoria Herrera is a TV and event host, model and freelance writer. She was features editor of Status Magazine before joining the short-lived radio show, "The Dollhouse," as an on-air personality. In 2011, she published her first book titled "Unscripted," a compilation of inspiring, heartfelt conversations from the radio show. In 2013, she launched her social enterprise Change Clothes that focuses on selling second-hand clothing to raise funds for non-profit organizations. Victoria lives between Singapore and Manila, pursuing her love for learning, travel and adventure.
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